Alexandria Housing Development Corp. buys Avana Apartments for $106M
Nonprofit aided by JBG Smith loan.
Alexandria Housing Development Corp. (AHDC) has acquired the former 326-unit Avana Alexandria Apartments for $106 million in an effort to provide affordable housing as rents and sales prices rise in anticipation of Amazon.com Inc.’s HQ2 East Coast headquarters, which is under development in nearby Arlington.
The acquisition, which closed on Jan. 28, marks the first use of Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) funding to meet market needs in response to Amazon, according to the nonprofit AHDC. VHDA committed to spending $15 million per year for five years to help Virginia jurisdictions meet housing requirements for new economic development — i.e., to offset the impact of the $2.5 billion Amazon HQ2, which plans to have 25,000 workers by 2030.
VHDA allocated $5 million to the Avana Apartments — now renamed the Parkstone Alexandria apartments — project, according to the AHDC, and the city of Alexandria provided $8 million in loans for the purchase. AHDC was also aided in the purchase by a $15.1 million loan from Bethesda, Maryland-based JBG Smith Properties’ Washington Housing Initiative Impact Pool, which supports the acquisition and development of affordable workforce housing. The new name, Parkstone Alexandria, is a nod to the nearby Stonegate Scenic Easement, a park that can be reached from a pedestrian path connecting the residential community to Braddock Road.
JBG Smith will serve as the property manager for the apartments at 3001 Park Center Dr. The redevelopment will offer 130 apartments for renters making up to 60% of the area median income (AMI) and 114 apartments for renters making up to 80% of AMI. Eighty-two apartments will rent at market rates, according to AHDC.
“The Parkstone Alexandria is an excellent example of multiple stakeholders working with VHDA to accomplish something truly exceptional,” VHDA Executive Director Susan Dewey said in a statement. “This development could easily have remained market rate, but by working together with our partners like AHDC, The City of Alexandria, and JBG SMITH’s Washington Housing Initiative, it will now provide much-needed affordable housing for a wide variety of incomes. This is the type of development that VHDA strongly supports, and it represents a good use of our Amazon REACH grant funds.”
The Parkstone project is the first use of VHDA’s Amazon REACH grant, a new VHDA financing tool that commits $15 million in funding per year for the next five years to create affordable housing in support of Amazon HQ2. The Parkstone acquisition received $5 million of the $15 million allocated for affordable housing in Northern Virginia this year, AHDC Communications and Development Manager Kayla Hornbrook said.
“The Impact Pool’s financing allows Parkstone to remain affordable to Alexandria’s workforce, rather than it being converted to expensive luxury housing,” AJ Jackson, executive vice president of social impact investments at JBG SMITH, said in a statement. “The Washington Housing Initiative is focused on creating housing opportunities for the missing middle — those who earn too much to qualify for traditional rental assistance but still struggle to pay for quality housing — and we look forward to having an even larger impact going forward.”
TD Bank N.A., M&T Bank Corp., Hingham Institution for Savings and CityBridge Foundation have invested in the Impact Pool, which has made more than $104 in affordable housing investments as of Jan. 29.
JBG SMITH owns, operates and invests in properties in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Its current portfolio comprises 20.6 million square feet.